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Great-Great Grandmama Olene would be so proud (maybe)

01.13.09 | works for me | 12 Comments

I really have no idea if Grandmama Olene was crafty. I do know that she joined the Mormon church in Norway with her husband Andrew. They came across the plains to settle in Utah, but they didn’t stay long. Perhaps it was the cushy locomotive transportation then available rather than the soul-refining hardships of the handcarts that led to Olene and Andrew making off for the bright lights of New York City.

Or maybe she just couldn’t keep up with her neighbors when it came to vinyl-ing heartfelt messages for every wall in her house.

You might prefer a white or silver backbone; black is surprisingly elegant.

But I have mastered the art of the Mod Podge (kind of), so Chrysanthemum showed me these cool snowflakes you can make. (And by “you” I mean: anyone who can handle the chenille stems formerly known as “pipe cleaners” without getting punctured or scraped).

Stem and Bead Snowflakes

Step #1: Buy chenille stems and bulk plastic children’s beads. Resist the urge to buy these at a craft store such as Hobby Lobby, even if a trusted blogger raves about the Hobby Lobby. Certain craft supplies like, say, bulk plastic children’s beads (just for example) are FOUR DOLLARS cheaper at Wal-Mart. And no, I’m not at all bitter about paying FOUR DOLLARS more at the Snobby Lobby.)

Push beads firmly to the center to make strands rigid.

Step #2: Cut 6 stems in half and then gather the 12 short stems. Twist another 1/2 stem around the middle, securing the snowflake/star shape. Let kids thread the plastic beads on — this is where chenille stems are great for kids, because unlike bracelets and necklaces (which kids also love to make), the stems catch the beads; much less frustrating for “little” fingers than that slippery stretchy cord used for making jewelry.

Though where there’s a will to properly adorn one’s special pets, little fingers will find a way:

I blame repeated viewings of The Aristocats.

I blame repeated viewings of The Aristocats.

Step #3: Only let the kids have a few beads (Like, 10. Or maybe 20. Okay, 30 MAX) at a time, otherwise you might get this:

I believed it was an "accident" at first.

and this:

Getting more suspicious here. Bits of plastic hitting fake wood sounds a lot like rain.

If you do end up with beads all over the floor, boy, have I got a tip for you. And here is where I would expect Grandmama Olene to be proud of me because? Cleaning up the bead mess? Baby, I rocked that part of our craft experience.

Are you ready? Okay.

To pick up small items, first hope and pray that the floor upon which said small items are scattered has been vacuumed sometime in the last month. Then put a fresh vacuum bag in your vacuum and simply vacuum those puppies up.

Ninety percent of household dust is sloughed skin cells.

Sift in a colander to remove the (miniscule amount of) stuff that actually belongs in the vacuum (which apparently settled on your floor right after that mopping you gave it last night).

I ran these beads under some water. If I weren’t anxiously engaged in exposing my children to immune-boosting household germs, I could’ve soaked them in bleach. But I believe in germs. And convenience. Amen.

What works for you?

Jane

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